Sunday, August 19, 2012

Prediction: HOU v. Crew (+Playoff Needs)

The Columbus Crew are in Houston tonight to take on the Dynamo. Game starts 9:00 PM EST, 8:00 PM IN TEXAS.


• No doubt that the Crew will cram new high profile signing, Fredrico Higuain, in to the starting 11 tonight.
• The player he will likely replace will be recent starter Cole Grossman. Cole has yet to lose a game as a starter. Three Wins / One Draw, with results against top tier teams (SEA, DC, KC and LA).
• HOU is unbeaten at home this year.
• HOU has only allowed 1 goal in last 5 game at home
• HOU has only allowed more than 1 goal in 1 game at home this year (back on June 21)


The team over at have Houston across the board, save for one picking a draw.

365Bet is leaning heavily Houston.

WinDrawWin, the sport betting aggregate site, confidently tells us that Houston will win. Large stake on 2:0 HOU. 68% vote for Dynamo with as well.

WV Hooligan says that "...Houston isn’t what [the Crew] needs at this point." He has it 2:0 Houston as well.

Adam Jardy, reporting on the Crew for the Columbus Dispatch, thinks it "will take and offensive eruption for the Crew to become the first opponent to win at Houston."


Columbus can do something special tonight. The forecast says there may be some rain moving through, hopefully it cools off. Outside of the fact that the Dynamo are all jazzed up about the new stadium, the heat always saps opponents strength.

It's really hard to get past the fact that the home side has not lost on home turf in 2012.

The way things look right now Columbus will have to WIN as many as 7 and possibly 9 of their last 13 to get into the playoffs (much higher than the 6 Robert Warzycha said a few weeks ago). That would leave them with 53-56 points. Last year that would be good enough for third in the league, but not this year. Why?

Draws are way, way (WAY) down to 20%, last year it was 35%... Draws have gone from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5? Which makes you ask... what on God's Green Earth!?

If you look at last year's table you see that a total of 47 pts or so got you into the playoffs (which is what Crew had). This year, with the lack of ties and an added club it might actually take around 55.

What this means is that the Crew can't afford to lose or draw more that 5 or 6 of there remaining 13 games.

The club needs wins. In order to get wins you need goals. Is Hiquain going to provide them? Possibly through assists first and goals 2nd. Say he does that at a rate of an assist or a goal per game (Wondo or Henry levels) through the rest of the year. Say this is on top of current Crew productivity of 1.00 Goals Per Game. Even in this Higuain has Greatest Start a DP has Ever Had fantasy land... it only takes the Crew up to 1.38 Goals per game (47 on the year) which will only be good enough for 9th in the league.

It's looking like a tall task for the Crew to work their way into the playoffs this year. It's going to take the extraordinary from them and another Eastern Conf team collapsing. Game's in hand works against you when you need another club to collapse because it leaves them less games and time for them to get to the collapsin'.

It has to start for the Crew tonight. They have to give Houston their first loss at home. This is the message Robert Warzycha should be conveying to the club. The team needs 3 points.

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